Entries in Hilary Clinton (4)


Secretary of State Clinton Condemns Attack on Pakistani Girl

State Department(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary Clinton spoke in front of a group of Girl Scouts Wednesday to talk about the State Department’s efforts to fight child marriage. But first she honored 14-year-old Malala Yousufzain, calling the Pakistani teenager brave, and highlighting her campaign for girls’ education in her country.
Clinton condemned her shooting, saying her attackers were “threatened” by her. “She was attacked and shot by extremists who don't want girls to have an education and don't want girls to speak for themselves and don't want girls to become leaders,” said Clinton.
The secretary told the crowd of young women that though Malala was in critical condition, they should continue her fight for the rights of girls world-wide.
“We should be dedicating our efforts to brave young women, some of whose names we will know and some we will never know,” she said.  “Who struggle against tradition and culture and even outright hostility and sometimes violence to pursue their hopes, their God-given potential, to have a life of meaning and purpose and make contributions to their families, their communities, their countries and the world.”
The secretary said Malala’s plight is a reminder of the dangers that simply being female continue to pose in many parts of the world.

“Yesterday's attack reminds of the challenges that girls face, whether it's poverty or marginalization or even violence, just for speaking out for their basic rights.”

Secretary Clinton, along with South African apartheid and human rights activist Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, launched the “Girls Brides” campaign, which is striving to end child marriage globally by 2030.  The State Department estimates that there are currently 10 million girls across the world who are forced into child marriage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secretary Clinton Says Assad Must Go

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL, Turkey) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that, despite a newly-brokered cease fire agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his days as president are numbered as his forces continue the bloody clash with Syrian opposition groups.

"We think Assad must go," Clinton told ABC today after attending the one-day Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul. "The sooner the better for everyone concerned."

But she added that the process must be multi-pronged.

The UN-Arab League peace plan and cease fire negotiated last week by envoy Kofi Annan is a good beginning, she said, but Assad has yet to stop the violence.

"There has to be a timeline," Clinton said regarding the diplomatic process. "It can't go on indefinitely."

Representatives of more than 60 countries attending the conference pledged financial assistance to the Syrian Free Army, the main opposition group, in an effort to encourage further defections from Assad's forces.

Clinton said the United States has agreed to pledge an additional $12 million for a total of $25 million in aid and to provide communications equipment to help the Syrian Free Army organize.

She met with the Syrian National Congress today to discuss how to document evidence of the atrocities for future investigations or trials in international criminal courts. A sanctions working group was also created to target those who are helping Assad.

While some Arab countries have urged western nations to arm Syrian rebels, Clinton said the United States is trying to balance its support of opposition groups without raising expectations that can't be met.

"We do have a stake in what happens in Syria, we just have to be thoughtful about how we pursue our role," she told ABC.

And in response to reports of the growing reach of al Qaeda in Syria, Clinton said: "The vast majority of the people who are standing up against the horrific assaults of the military machine in Syria are ordinary citizens defending themselves and their homes."

"We want to send a very clear message to the people inside Syria ... that the international community stands with you and we want to see an inclusive democratic Syria where members of every ethnic group, every religion are given a chance to be full citizens," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Reached Out to Haqqani Terrorists, Clinton Says

Win McNamee/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The Obama administration has reached out to the Haqqani network, the terror group based in Pakistan that is blamed for a string of attacks in Afghanistan, including the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed Friday.

“We have reached out to the Taliban, we have reached out to the Haqqani network to test their willingness and their sincerity. And we are now working among us — Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States — to try to put together a process that would sequence us toward an actual negotiation,” Clinton told reporters in Islamabad.

Clinton is in Pakistan, pressing that government to do more to crack down on terror groups like the Haqqanis.

She said the meeting was arranged by Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service, which the U.S. has accused of colluding with terror groups, and was only “preliminary” to see if the Haqqanis were interested in talks.

“We had one preliminary meeting to essentially just see if they would show up for even a preliminary meeting,” Clinton said, adding that no negotiations are ongoing.

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, later told reporters traveling with Clinton that the message during that meeting was clear: that the door is open to militants who want to meet conditions for peace, but that the U.S. was also prepared to fight.

The meeting took place last summer before the September embassy attack and had the support of the Afghan government. The official described the meeting as one of several “straws in the wind” to determine how to develop a political resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Clinton is in Pakistan with CIA Director David Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey to deliver a tough, unified message to Pakistan to crack down on militants operating within their borders.

Clinton told reporters that her two days of meetings in Pakistan have “done a lot to clear the air” and said that the relationship between the military and intelligence agencies are “back on the right trajectory.”

“We’re 90 to 95 percent on the same page,” Clinton said, adding quickly that they’re still working on the rest.

“I’m feeling very reassured and I think we’re back on the right track,” she added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clinton Urges Countries to Stop Buying Syria's Oil And Gas 

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Clinton Friday urged countries to “get on the right side of history” and stop buying oil and gas from Syria.
“The United States will continue to work with our partners to turn this growing consensus into increased pressure and isolation for the Assad regime.  In particular, we urge those countries still buying Syrian oil and gas, those countries still sending Assad weapons, those countries whose political and economic support give him comfort in his brutality to get on the right on the right side of history.  President Assad has lost the legitimacy to lead, and it is clear that Syria would be better off without him,” she told reporters after meeting with her Norwegian counterpart.
This comes as the United States is developing energy sanctions that will hit the oil and gas sectors that are a major source of funding for the regime. Senior advisor Fred Hof is in Europe this week rallying support for coordinated sanctions from other countries that would bite more since they have more trade with Syria. When will those sanctions be announced? “Stay tuned,” Clinton said Friday.
In an interview Thursday, Clinton named and shamed a few countries still doing business with Syria.
“We want to see China take steps with us.  We want to see India, because India and China have large energy investments inside of Syria.  We want to see Russia cease selling arms to the Assad regime,” she told Scott Pelley.
Clinton’s comments ahead of the actual sanctions are indicative of her incremental approach to the crisis, ratcheting up the pressure slowly rather than using the biggest arrow in the quiver. It’s becoming clear that is also her approach towards calling on Assad to leave power, something the White House has been eager to do.
U.S. officials tell ABC that Turkey and other countries have urged the United States to hold off on demanding that Syrian President Bashar Assad step down.
Some countries, Norway included, have said they won’t call for Assad to step down because there is no clear alternative among the opposition. In that context, Clinton for the second day in a row called on the opposition to organize and come together.
“We and others are reaching out to members of the opposition inside and outside of Syria to encourage them to create a unified vision of what an inclusive, participatory, democratic system in Syria could look like,” she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio